An irritated FC Bayern fought back masterfully in the most exciting title fight in years. The Munich champions countered Borussia Dortmund's attack on the Bundesliga throne in the top game against Union Berlin with a mighty 3-0 (3-0). In front of 75,000 spectators in the Allianz Arena on Sunday, coach Julian Nagelsmann's star football ensemble crowned their offensive enthusiasm with goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31st minute), Kingsley Coman (40th) and birthday boy Jamal Musiala (20) in the Overtime of the first half.
"Only FCB will be German champions," chanted the delighted Bayern supporters in the Munich snowstorm. Bayern (46 points) lead the table thanks to the significantly better goal difference even after the 22nd match day ahead of BVB and Union (43).
The Berliners were only able to stop the Bayern Express halfway in their first defeat in 2023 in the first half hour. After conceding the first goal, however, the amazing Bayern hunter lacked the energy to defend himself. Just three days after the tour de force in the great success in the Europa League against Ajax Amsterdam, that was not surprising. In the Bundesliga, a thrilling title duel between Bayern and BVB is looming at the start of the last third of the season.
In the end, the goal by magic foot Vincenzo Grifo was not enough for Bundesliga club SC Freiburg. The Badeners had to be content with a 1-1 (1-0) against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday and are rid of fourth place in the Champions League for the time being. Grifo had given SC the lead with a superb free kick in the 29th minute, Iran's Sardar Azmoun scored the equalizer for the Werkself (67'), which was well deserved.
Freiburg remained unbeaten in their fourth competitive game in a row and are now fifth in the table. They also set a club record. They had only managed ten consecutive home games without defeat in the Bundesliga in 2012 - at that time across the seasons. Three days after the successful penalty thriller in the Europa League at AS Monaco, Bayer prevented another setback in the league. Leverkusen, who have won only one of their last five league games, are in the table but ten points behind sixth place.
After playing from the start in 153 competitive games in a row, Freiburg captain Christian Günter had to watch this time because of a yellow card suspension. Lukas Kübler switched from right to left defence, and young Frenchman Kiliann Sildilla was a new addition to the team. After 25 minutes there was another change at SC: Coach Christian Streich brought on Roland Sallai for Ritsu Doan and from then on he defended with a back three.
In front of 34,000 spectators - including national coach Hansi Flick, who was heavily wrapped up because of the cold - there weren't any great chances in the first half hour. But then Grifo struck. The Italian international flicked a free kick from 25 meters over the wall and onto the right inside post, which is a sight to behold. From there the ball jumped to Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky and into the goal. For Freiburg's top scorer it was the twelfth goal of the season - and for SC it was the 16th goal after a dead ball this season.
Bayer, without the suspended Jonathan Tah, Piero Hincapié and Amine Adli, struggled to come from behind. Shortly before the break, the guests scratched the balance. The conspicuous Moussa Diaby first hit the ball (35th) and then got bogged down (38th). Kerem Demirbay tested SC goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who was wearing the captain's armband in Günter's absence, with a powerful shot from the second row (40'). In addition, Jeremie Frimpong headed free-standing over the box (41st).
Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso tried to boost his offensive and brought in national player Florian Wirtz for the second half instead of the Czech Adam Hlozek. The guests initially only became dangerous through a free kick from Demirbay, which flew over the goal (49th). Then Azmoun scored a technically demanding 1-1 after a buttery cross from Mitchel Bakker. The equalizer was deserved, but almost didn't last long. Only four minutes later, Freiburg missed a triple header chance, Philipp Lienhart hit the crossbar.
The other results of the 22nd Bundesliga matchday:
FC Schalke 04 versus VfB Stuttgart 2:1
TSG Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Dortmund 0:1
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt 2: 1
1. FC Köln vs. VfL Wolfsburg 0:2
Hertha BSC vs. FC Augsburg 2:0
Werder Bremen versus VfL Bochum 3-0
1. FSV Mainz 05 vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach 4:0
The Bundesliga will continue next weekend with the 23rd match day. Among other things, Borussia Dortmund welcomes RB Leipzig on Friday evening from 8.30 p.m. (live on Dazn and in the stern ticker).